How to Handle Employee Complaints and Concerns

By hrlineup | 25.11.2020

Employees spend more time in the workplace with co-workers than with their family and friends. For this reason, it is common for conflicts, concerns, and complaints to arise, especially among employees from different backgrounds and work experiences. In addition to the complexities of human relationships, some things can go wrong within the operations of the workplace that lead to discomfort. The HR department is typically where employees voice their concerns and complaints, expecting some resolution.

The HR team needs to take all complaints seriously, no matter how minor they may appear to be. As long as the concern is proven to be legitimate, here are some steps on how HR should handle employee complaints.

  1. Create a Reporting process

 Employees need to know how they should report in the event of any complaints. This requires an open-door policy so that anyone can make a complaint when they need to.

In addition to this policy, regular meetings should be held where employees receive updates on policies and regulations. There should also be a way that employees can make reports anonymously if they fear their complaint could affect their employment.

  1. Get All the Facts

 The most common complaints and concerns are employee complaints against another employee. Issues that arise from challenges in workplace relationships can affect the business in operations and finance. In exploring all the facts, it is essential to get comprehensive details. This requires asking the following questions: –

  • Who is involved in the complaint and were there any witnesses?
  • When did the incident occur?
  • What exactly happened during the incident, including the cause of the incident? What proof is available?
  • Where and when did the incident occur?
  • Has the incident affected other people within the workplace?
  1. Follow the Chain of Command

 There are different types of complaints or concerns that employees raise. In some cases, the employees are simply frustrated and want to vent. Being a listening ear and offering advice is ideal in this situation. When the issue is more serious, the HR may need to notify a supervisor or manager who can help with rectification. If the issue is with the supervisor or manager, and it is serious, then it may be necessary to notify the legal team.

  1. Maintain Transparency

 Complainants like to know how their issues are being handled, so the HR manager needs to keep them appraised of the process. This should be done with sensitivity, especially where there is confidential information. Also, management needs to be alerted of all issues, whether they are big or small. Within this alert, the actions taken should also be included if they need to be referred to in the future.

A good response to employee complaints would be to address the complaint or concern immediately it has been brought to attention. Most issues can be dealt with quickly so that all parties can move forward. For serious issues, investigations should be done promptly while all involved can remember the details of an incident. Using this strategy, it is easier to avoid the company facing legal issues from the employees.